Another day at the Commonwealth Games, another gold medal for team Australia.
Olympic swimming champion Kyle Chalmers won another gold medal at the Games in Birmingham on Monday, August 1, having smashed out the men’s 100 metres freestyle in 47.51 seconds.
After becoming the 100-metre freestyle champion, Chalmers held a finger up to his mouth in a gesture issuing silence, a not-so-subtle message for his critics.
“That probably means more than giving a fist pump or a tensing of the muscles,” Chalmers said.
“For me, I hope that sends a powerful message.”
The 24-year-old Aussie swim star had been in the media hot seat recently over intense scrutiny regarding his personal life and unsourced rumours about creating rifts in the team.
Chalmers had previously slammed any suggestions of tension between himself and fellow Australian gold medalist Emma McKeon, treating to cut off all contact with the media and claiming his mental health was in jeopardy after facing a blistering press conference at the Games.
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“I ask that you please stop writing these false headlines otherwise my time in the sport will be finished,” Chalmers shared on social media on Saturday, July 30, two days prior to his freestyle race.
“This could end my time in swimming, I hope you are all aware. My mental health right now from all of this over the months is at rock bottom, I really hope that pleases the keyboard warriors that continue to write false news.”
Chalmers, who considered walking away from the race, called his recent win “bittersweet”, saying it was “the most challenging, probably 48 hours of my swimming career”.
“I’ve had definitely big battles with mental health over a long time, and it’s one of the most challenging things that I’ve had to face and see my teammate’s face and family face,” he said.
Since openly speaking about his mental health struggles, more and more people have taken to social media to show their continued support for Chalmers and criticised the media for continuing to pepper his press conferences with questions about his private life.
The media coming for Kyle Chalmers over some bullshit love triangle is so awful. That man absolutely dedicated every fibre of his being to swimming his entire life and the media is more interested in his thoughts on Cody Simpsons love life. Get a grip you absolute gremlins.
— lavender baj (@lavosaurus) July 31, 2022
A moral gold medal goes to Kyle Chalmers for calling out the sports media on their pathetic journalism tactics.
It seems the sports and political media both need cleaning out!
Well said Kyle – you’re a champion!
— chris lee (@chrisle83266698) July 31, 2022
The treatment of Kyle Chalmers is a classic example of the media abandoning common sense and manners to just spew out a headline, about anything, without facts.
— mr doh (@efdoh) July 31, 2022
Speaking to the ABC, the swimming legend has said he feels “very, very grateful for all the support I’ve had at home, and it’s been very overwhelming how many people have reached out to [him] and so many high-profile people as well, who fight similar battles in their sports or respective fields.”
Chalmers has now won three gold medals from the Birmingham Games, following earlier relay wins in the mixed 4x100m freestyle and men’s 4x100m freestyle.